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Senior fall efficacy: A comparison of independent community dwelling seniors versus group dwelling seniors

John F. Yannessa, MS, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, HPER Building 116, 1025 East 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-7109, (812) 855-6797, jyanness@indiana.edu and David M. Koceja, PhD, Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, School of HPER , Room 112, Bloomington, IN 47405.

Introduction: Many seniors are challenged by physiological and psychological risk factors associated with falling. Because of the interactive nature of these risk factors, fall related injuries are a concern to the senior. Little is known about the relationship between living environment and perceptions of balance ability. The objective of this research was to examine the relationship between a community based balance measure and perceptions of balance among seniors from different living environments. Method: Data collection was conducted in both senior group dwelling facilities and, to facilitate access to independent community dwelling seniors, in senior community centers. The sample included independent (n=36, Age 79.0 + 7.0) and group dwelling seniors (n=38, Age 76.0 + 9.5). Instruments used to collect information from the seniors were the Berg Balance Scale and the Tinetti Falls Efficacy Scale. Results: Significant differences (p< .05) in Falls Efficacy by location were found [t (72) =2.04, p= .044.]. In other words, those in group dwelling environments were not as confident as their independent dwelling counterparts that they could perform activities of daily living without experiencing a fall, even though they had the same physical ability. Conclusion: Results suggest that this sample of group dwelling seniors believe incorrectly that their ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLís) in the face of fall risk is compromised simply as a result of their living situation. In the future, we suggest that geriatric clinicians focus their efforts on health education designed to increase senior falls efficacy.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Aging, Community-Based Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Innovations in Long-term Care

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA